Trump insulted Yazidi Nobel laureate and sexual violence survivor Nadia Murad by asking her why she won the Nobel Peace Prize, minutes after she explained that she helps other Yazidis in peril.
President Donald Trump clearly wasn’t paying attention when Yazidi Nobel laureate Nadia Murad and a group of activists met with him in the Oval Office to ask for his help in the Middle East. While thoroughly explaining her story of being forced into becoming an ISIS sex slave after the terrorist group killed her family, Trump interrupted with, “And you had the Nobel [Peace] Prize? That’s incredible. They gave it to you for what reason?” Murad took a pause, and repeated her story. “After all this happened to me, I didn’t give up. I make it clear to everyone that ISIS raped thousands of Yazidi women,” she said. Yazidi are an religious and ethnic Kurdish minority group in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey; Murad is from Iraq.
“Please do something. It’s not about one family,” she pleaded. She explained that she, along with other Iraqi women and girls, were kidnapped by ISIS and repeatedly raped. Her abduction occurred after her mother and six brothers were murdered by ISIS, and added while she was able to escape, there are still 3000 Yazidis missing. Her tireless activism to help Yazidis, including through her foundation, Nadia’s Initiative, won her the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018; she shared the honor with activist Denis Mukwege of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Nobel committee cited their win as being “for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.”
In another baffling moment, Trump, who did not stand up to greet the female activist, asked Murad “and where are they now?” in reference to her dead family members. With a measured tone and patience that many would not have, she responded, “They killed them. They’re in a mass grave in Sinjar.” Trump said, “But ISIS is gone and now it’s Kurdish and who?” later telling her, “I know the area very well.” Murad also mentioned that Yazidis put their lives in jeopardy by making the dangerous journey to Germany; Trump has vocally criticized the country’s practice of taking in refugees.
— The National (@TheNationalUAE) July 19, 2019
Trump continued to put his foot in his mouth by seemingly not knowing who the Rohingya are, while meeting a representative from the Muslim minority slaughtered in Myanmar two years ago. This, despite his administration banning travel to the United States from Myanmar because of this violence, which he called “ethnic cleansing.”